cropped-butterfly-2.pngI’m sorry you found my blog.

HA!  What a funny thing to say on a blog!!  But seriously, if you landed here, you either know me, or know someone that has cancer.  That’s why I’m sorry!

Cancer.

I hate that word.

I remember sitting in the oncologist’s office in my early 20’s listening to the Dr. tell me that while it was not likely I would get Ocular Melanoma like my Mom, 3 out of 4 people would be diagnosed with some sort of cancer in their life.  Since all of my Grandparents and my Mom have died of some type of cancer, I knew my day would come.  I just never thought my diagnosis would be the day after my 41st birthday and as a mother of a 10, 7 and 6 year old.

Fast forward 4 years (October 2019) and the cancer has returned in other bones.  So here we are, ready to fight again…and looking to be on some sort of treatment for the rest of my life.

This blog is my journey as I fight to leave cancer behind and move on in my life.

I should probably back up and introduce myself . . . my name is Jennifer.  I’m a Christ follower, married to an amazing man (who happens to be a chef turned Co-CEO of a restaurant), have 3 beautiful daughters and I’ve been diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer which originally spread to my sternum, but has now spread to quite a few other bones  and one of my lungs as well.

I know it can be confusing when you stumble upon a new blog, so let me help you get started.

  • I have a blog to keep track of my thoughts and to let friends and family know what’s going on.
  • You can get to know our family or read my personal testimony here.
  • As I’ve been going through different procedures, I’ve written down what it was like.  You can find a list of those over in the side bar (or down at the bottom if you are on a mobile device).
  • Click here to receive an email when I publish new posts.
  • And finally, if you noticed above that I’m married to a chef and think that must be the MOST AMAZING THING EVER, click here and browse through my blog about what it’s really like to be married to a chef.  (I love blogging.  Can you tell?)

Jennifer

Here’s what’s going on with me right now . . .

Another Cancerversary Has Passed

I passed my 5 year cancerversary last month.

I’ve survived over 5 years with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer.

Only 27 out of 100 women live past 5 years with this disease.

I’m very thankful to be one of them!

read more…

Chemo, MRI, Fluid on Lungs….

I love this new quick chemo! My blood work came back quickly today and the chemo takes between 3-5 minutes to give. I love how quick that is! Today, I also got a bag of fluid as I waited for my labs to come back.

While I was there today, Dr. Leung stopped by. We talked about how my pain is much more under control and how I’m not having to use short acting pain pills during the day as often. He was pleased that I am less bloated. (I am pleased as well, although I think I still have a little bit more to go.)

read more…

Back Home, New Chemo and Pain Management

A lot has happened since I wrote last. My attention span isn’t very long, but I’ll try my best to give you an update.

I came home from the hospital with a pain management plan and a bowel management plan. Ready or not….we were headed back home!

Once we got home, thanks to Amazon and a medical supply store near the hospital, we got a few things to make things possible for me to function at home without Tom having to help me with everything! I am using a cane to keep me steady as I walk. We have a long reach toilet aid tool…quickly moving on…a bed assist rail, a beautiful new toilet seat with handles, a handle in the shower for balance and a grabber/reacher tool so I can pick things up off the floor (or try and pinch the girls).

I feel so old!

Sigh!

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I’m Home

I’m very tired, but wanted to post that I got home from the hospital around 6 pm. I will write more when I am more alert.

Reporting from the hospital

It’s Friday night and I’ve had a busy day at the hospital. People have been coming in and out all day to check vitals, to get me medicine, to talk about test results, etc.

I had the fluid around my right lung drained today. It was about 1 liter of fluid. We decided to drain it because when we compared yesterday’s CT to the CT that was done a week and a half ago, there was quite a bit more fluid. 

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Getting Away for the Night

I was having a lot of pain on Tuesday evening and by 3a it became unbearable and my oncologist recommended I go to the ER.  Tom called 911 because I wasn’t able to get out of bed, much less into the car on my own. 

The ambulance arrived and somehow managed to get me out of the house without waking the girls.  Tom let them know what was going on and one of my friends came over super early to be with them when they woke up.  The ER was a pretty slow process, but they did run a number of tests and started an IV to get my pain under control.  The two main concerns were the pain in my back and my difficulty breathing.  The most recent CT scans showed some fluid accumulating around my right lung and hinted at a possible infection. 

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Scan results

Good news! I still have hair.

Not so great news….the CT showed some new and enlarged spots. The growth isn’t huge, but it is still growth. That, combined with my current symptoms, confirms that Taxol (the current chemo I am on) isn’t effective.

The fluid around my right lung has increased a little and there is now a spot on my left lung. There is also an inconclusive spot on my liver that is suspicious. There are a lot of spots on my bones still, one large one at T4, which hasn’t really changed since the last scan. Maybe that’s the one that is causing my back pain.

read more…

tom-and-jennifer-ovalMeet Jennifer

Breast Cancer Patient, Chef Wife and Mom

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Resources:

verses of encouragement
How to help a friend or family member with cancer
Resources for Cancer 'Patients
cancer insurance

What to Expect:

Breast Biopsy
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PET Scan
port surgery
chemotherapy
Mastectomy
Reconstruction
oophorectomy
Radiation
neuropathy after chemo